“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” - Mathew 10:6 (NIV)
Early in February 2019 the world was shocked to learn of a young spirited man called John Chau who was killed while trying to convert an unreached tribe based on an obscure Indian ocean Island. These are the Sentinelese, a hunter-gatherer tribe, who inhabit North Sentinel Island in the Andaman island chain. There are considered one of the Earth’s last un contacted peoples. Their entire tribe is believed to number several dozen people. So isolated are they that there is one picture of a near naked native once aiming an arrow at a circling plane. Yet in spite of their animosity Chau dared to walk into their territory, Bible in hand, only to be killed.
After news had broken out of Chaus death, opinion was divided. For his sending mission organization, Survival International, Chau was a martyr who lost his life trying to fulfill the Great Commission. But there were many who disputed blaming him for being reckless and just courting with fire. He had made two previous attempts before and in spite of presenting gifts that included “tweezers, scissors, cord, safety pins, fish hooks” the Sentinels had shown no interest. On a third attempt to penetrate them he did not survive their storm of arrows.
We might not resolve here if Chau’s action was heroic or, it was a foolhardy move causing in his father’s words an “unexpected death.” One thing though we might here agree on is that Christ warned his disciples when going out to share the Gospel to be discreet, as today’s verse indicates. The implication here is that we must understand the world we live in, its peoples; at times we might need to be tactical if we are to go far in our mission.
There are many people hostile to Christians as with the Sentinels. Some do harbor “arrows” that can push Christians out of jobs, land then in jail for violating laws they have put in place, and even kill. Perhaps, other than being confrontational and combative, we might pause to ask the Lord to give us wisdom how best to reach such. After all, what use is putting oneself deliberately in harm’s way with susceptible results!
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, creator of heaven and earth, today I pray for wisdom in my daily walks of life and in whatever I happen to do.
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“The LORD will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them” – (Deuteronomy 28:2).
Every now and then one chances upon someone despising the importance of being enterprising. To some being enterprising can be equated to the love of money and it’s pitfalls (1 Tim 6:10). Others see it as being overtly worldly. Yet, far from it, being enterprising is clearly an avenue God has given believers to raise resources for their well-being and promotion of the rich Gospel.
The Bible is full of enterprising characters who were used mightily of God. Abraham was apparently a good rancher that he “become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold” (Gen 13:2). Job was hated by Satan who sought to destroy him because “He owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 teams of oxen, and 500 female donkeys. He also had many servants. He was, in fact, the richest person in that entire area” (Job 1:3).
The Lord Jesus Christ was born and raised in the house of Joseph, the carpenter (Mathew 13:55). Carpenters do not create works of beauty to donate for free. To prosper they must run sustainable enterprises which pay taxes and make profit. The Apostle Paul would often rely on enterprising people to support him in his ministry. One of his worthy converts “was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God (Acts 16:14).
Though Paul was a law don once he went to the mission field, other than cling to his titles by burdening his hosts he often dabbled in tent making to support himself. In Corinth he teamed up with an amazing couple, Priscilla and Aquila, and “because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them” (Acts 18:3). This couple run a successful tent making business that enabled them support mission work.
And then of course, there is the noble woman of character, as told in Proverbs 31, who “selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings.. She sees that her trading is profitable…She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes (vv 13-25).
When the body of believers is filled with such enterprising people it generates resources important to sustain God’s work. Further, the work of God is then supported without being dependent on sources that might compromise the mission, as sometimes we see! Be enterprising!
Prayer for today: Lord father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, you who has given us the gift of enterprise, today I pray to use this gift to take care of my needs and support the expansion of your kingdom on earth, this I pray in Jesus’ Name.